Ethical, sustainable, conscious, eco… Even the language that surrounds the realm of clothes and shoes that haven't been produced irresponsibly is enough to confuse the most inquisitive style trooper. What is sustainable but not eco? What could be ethical but not conscious? Are these even valid questions? It's a complete minefield for designers, brands, buyers and consumers alike.
The daunting landscape may be one of the reasons you've never pursued the idea wholeheartedly within your own wardrobe; maybe vintage shopping is your planet-friendly route in or perhaps you always make sure you make long-lasting investment purchases rather than diving recklessly into fast fashion. But I understand why you may have struggled up to this point because I have too.
Even with some know-how and press releases flying into my inbox from eco brands across the world, until now, I have felt that being conscious alone wasn't enough to break through: Each piece has to be just as gorgeous as anything else. Let's not beat around the bush—design should never be the second motivation; a product's aesthetic will always be a priority for the majority of style-savvy consumers out there. What I hope is that the added benefit of consciousness can become a normal but wonderful bonus on top of an already awesome purchase.
@monica_dlv; PICTURED: Mango Committed dress and bag on Monica Ainley de La Villardière.
A few years on from the initial eco-fashion boom, and I bring good news: Brands (new and old) are really stepping up to the bar, offering more "aware" wares that are directional too. There are also two particular UK e-commerce sites that will support the moves you want to make: Always check Reve en Vert and Antibad Store. So without further ado, discover and shop the 36 best ethical fashion brands I rate.
Proud Mary's raffia accessories and beach-ready tunics and skirts are handmade goods that require the traditional techniques and fabrics of artisans from across the globe.
VereVerto's convertible handbags (and particularly the bumbag styles) have understandably been fast adopted by the Insta set. The pieces are made out of Spanish leather—a bi-product of the food industry and known for its longlasting qualities.
Maison Cleo's handmade shirts are crafted by French designer Marie Dewet and her mother at home. It doesn't get cuter or more sustainable than that.
Ninety Percent is a premium line full of the updated basics your wardrobe has been missing this whole time. And what's more is that it shares 90% of the profits made back to the manufacturers and a host of charities. There's also the opportunity for consumers to help decide where the money goes. Ingenious.